My vision for Tipperary:
The vision I have for Tipperary is that as we come out of the recession the whole county can benefit. Over the past 10 years with austerity measures it is my opinion that it affected low and middle income families hardest. Any government must change policies which help rural Ireland and help indigenous industries. This section of industry makes up over 70% of the workforce in Ireland.
A vision must become a reality that everyone should be able to access a home and not be caught up in the rental debacle. We have a huge tourist industry in the county but it is not been utilised properly and all agencies have to work together to change this around. In health we have to make sure that the overcrowding ends and that step down beds and extra Home help hours are provided. The restoration of Mental Health services should and must be high on any government agenda. With the continued rise in drug use which in turn is directly involved in all other social issues such as crime & homelessness. There is an urgent need for a Drug Task Force to be set up immediately.
One of the key priorities is the continued overcrowding in South Tipperary General, on a daily basis it is in the top two three hospital for this problem and the fear is that a serious accident is only waiting to happen. While this continues we see the A&E in Nenagh closed and also Our Lady’s Hospital in Cashel in darkness come five in the evening. There has been enough lip service been done with this problem and political football been played with the problem, it is now time for all five TD’s who will get elected to work together to solve this problem. In West / Mid Tipperary the continued traffic problems in Tipperary Town needs to be tackled once and for all. The N24 Tipperary Town bypass must be put back high on the agenda of any government that’s elected. This road also is a major issue further south of the county in Carrick On Suir and this must be resolved urgently as well. There needs to be a bigger drive to help our small towns and rural villages, these are dying in front of us and very little been done by this government or previous ones to reverse that decline.
Another priority would have to be the establishment of a Drug’s Task Force to combat the increase drug usage we can see county wide.
The experience I have comes from working in the local community for the past 30 odd years. I have been involved in numerous groups and committees in this time. To name a few would be camogie at both club and county level, Cashel Hurling Club, Cashel Box Club, Tipperary County Darts. Some of the community groups are Spafield Resources Centre, Spafield Residents Ass, Halla na Feile Committee and presently I am Treasurer of Cashel Social Services/Cashel Meals on Wheels.
During this time I have worked with a wide variety of the public. In 2012 I was co-opted onto Cashel Town Council after the death of my brother. In 2014 I stood and was elected to the new amalgamated County Council where I served for five years. During this time I returned to education and received a degree in Community Development and Leadership from Maynooth College. This I feel gives me a real understanding of the problems which face families and communities in the county.